The Queen is to withdraw from public duties

The Queen is to withdraw from public duties for an undisclosed period of time due to the coronavirus pandemic, with several experts questioning if she will ever return.

A new report in the Sunday Times said her absence from public life is expected to be "the longest absence from official duties in her 68-year reign."

Her Majesty will stay at her home in Windsor Castle for the foreseeable future, and her diary of engagements is "on hold" for an extended period of time.

A royal source told the newspaper, “The Queen won’t do anything which goes against the advice of people in her [age] category and she’s going to take all the appropriate advice.”

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a number of the Queen's favourite events being cancelled for the first time.

Queen on the phone to Boris Johnson in March

From Queen Elizabeth's favourite, Trooping the Colour in London in June, to the Order of the Garter service and her annual garden parties, a royal source told the paper that over coming months the Queen's diary of engagements and public duties would be paused.

Buckingham Palace is also to remain closed to the public as lockdown continues in Britain. And while Her Majesty usually travels to Balmoral for her annual break in July with other members of the royal family, she is expected to instead remain at Windsor Castle with Prince Philip after appropriate advice was taken.

Windsor Castle

But while Her Majesty will not be seen in public during the Covid-19 lockdown, she has already made two landmark addresses on TV. On Friday, she commemorated the 75th anniversary of VE Day with a special speech.

Speaking from Windsor Castle, Her Majesty drew parallels between World War II and now during the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. She also spoke of her pride in the UK's  determination to overcome it.

Her Majesty's last public engagement was before the coronavirus crisis at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9.

She went into isolation with the Duke of Edinburgh on March 19, but despite that she has been in regular contact with the prime minister, Boris Johnson,  and other world leaders.

Royal biographer Andrew Morton fears that it may be years until we see the Queen return to public life, if ever, “It’s terribly sad but I can’t see how the Queen can resume her usual job," he told The Sun.

“The Covid-19 virus isn’t going away soon and will be with us for months, if not years.

“It would be far too risky for the Queen to start meeting people on a regular basis.

“She has always loved getting out and meeting people but she can’t take the risk.

“How can she carry out investitures, meet ambassadors, do walkabouts and visit places without meeting people at close range?

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